Archive for the ‘Agents/Publishers’ Category

A Surprise Ending

October 6, 2010

Oh man…STUFF! I know I have to tell you about that play we saw on Saturday, and I’m trying to avoid doing that in case you haven’t been able to tell, so let me veer off the track for a second to update you on the house. We had Lou Crew again yesterday and they finished putting up the light fixtures, plus the temporary cheap porch light, the “jelly jar” outside the sliding door because the one we ordered to go with the rest of the lights for the patio won’t be in until next month and he needed something up there in the meantime in order to pass inspection. Plus they brought the pantry door and the balance of the moldings and stained all of that. And up next will be the heating. I still didn’t get a picture of the fan because by the time they leave and with the dreary rain we’ve had the last couple of days, it’s been too dark to get a good picture of it. But I’ll get one up here soon enough.

Okay, in a nutshell, I can tell you about that play. It was called Me, Myself & I and the “it” name in the cast was Elizabeth Ashley. She played a disgruntled and confused mother of twins, OTTO and otto, whom she couldn’t tell apart except for the fact that she knew one hated her and one loved her. The first act took place with mother Ashley in bed with her live-in lover who sleeps in his suit and shoes and they were visited by each twin, separately and approximately 93% of the dialogue was an inane repetition of her asking, “Which one are you?” and “Are you the one who hates me?” and declaring, “I don’t know who you are.” That first act was a solid forty minutes. The second act had the mother and her lover going on a never materialized picnic and then meeting otto’s girlfriend, whom OTTO had just had his way with, though she thought it was otto. Then there was vicious name calling, including spewing the “C” word and then the twins’ father made a quick reappearance in a black panther-drawn carriage with a booty of emeralds, but after witnessing the falderal before him, left again, like he did twenty some years prior. Why all the confusion? Because OTTO had a new twin, his reflection in the mirror and otto was dead to him, which had otto asking if that now meant they were triplets. I can’t even rate this one, but all I can say is thank goodness this particular workshop theater has some of the most comfortable seats in all of Manhattan. Now do you see why I’ve been postponing reviewing this one?

Ready for some news? You can say it’s a surprise ending, (to the day yesterday, to today’s blog)hence today’s title and perhaps a surprise new beginning. I was just finishing up my day yesterday and I heard <insert incoming email chime> and it was from that publisher, the one I sent my first chapter to on Saturday. Without going into it too much, the gist of the email was to advise me that this correspondence constitutes a letter of intent in proceeding further with the acquisition of your manuscript for publishing.

I’ll let that soak in for a sec. Heaven knows I needed quite a bit of time myself last night.

They asked me to furnish them with some information so they can get together a confidentiality agreement which I’ll have to look over and have an attorney look over and they also say that I won’t be able to disclose any of the terms and conditions named therein.  I don’t know yet how severe any restrictions will be, say, in keeping you guys abreast of the proceedings, though they’d be non-specific anyway–that is, if anything more solid comes of this; I’d hate to not keep you apprised after many of you have been suffering my tale of woe for so long. But I will find out and I will share what I can.  I’m still numb.

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A Few Things For Sure

August 19, 2010

It’s been a busy week, plowing through piles and piles of work, with no apparent end in sight. But, that’s fine, it keeps my mind from wandering, as long as I remember at the moment of inception to write down important things that manage to come into my head, to wit: a card for a certain occasion coming up that we need to acknowledge. Jokingly we were told if we didn’t send a birthday card this time, like we didn’t for Father’s Day, we’d be replaced by some other set of  “sons number 4 and 5”. We couldn’t let that happen. The birthday is two days from now and I figured I’d get the card while I’m out on Friday afternoon. Sure it would be a few days late, but, thanks to Ariel, the card is on its way.

Busy as I am, every now and then a stray thought will come into my head, something to recharge the batteries, so to speak. I was watching Turner Classic Movies yesterday; it was Ann Sheridan day in their August Under The Stars line-up and it’s doubtful that had anything to do with it, other than to set the scene, but I had this sudden urge to try to make that ‘fart’ sound from my armpit that I used to do as a kid. It took a couple of tries and a variety of hand placements, but I got it going. And I laughed my head off then got back to work.

I also did my daily check on that agent lady’s status, to see if she was once again accepting submissions. A week or so ago, maybe three, the one page I was looking at completely disappeared, but I found her status on the agency’s main website and it was listed as “until further notice”. Yesterday morning, even that page was changed to say she was no longer with the agency. I did a quick Google search, found her own personal blog and sure enough, she’s left agenting altogether and has gone to work for another undisclosed publishing house in an undisclosed capacity.

Okay. This interesting little tidbit flashed across my screen and I decided to explore it further and in so doing, I got more confused, but this is what I got out of it, so don’t hold me to it. The word “OKAY” is said to have originated by Irish supporters during the re-election of President Martin VanBuren, changing the spelling of “all” in “all correct” to “oll korrect” to imitate the Irish brogue. Some also say it alludes to VanBuren’s nickname of Old Kinderhook, from his birthplace in Kinderhook, NY. Another source says it came from the Choctaw ‘okeh’ which means ‘it is so’.

I’m going with the Irish theory, simply because, well, I’m Irish. But who knows how these things really get started and how they have their holding power? Fo shizzle. Peace out!

Dancing On Wet Cement

July 27, 2010

Okay, where was I? Oh, yeah, cowering under my sheets, hiding against the cool air blowing on me from the AC while the outside temperature was in the low to mid 50’s! I didn’t have a blog yesterday because I ran out of time trying to get my act together and I wanted to update you on the progress on the house and tell you what I thought of the movie we saw over the weekend. Well, no time like the present.

We saw the new Leonardo DiCaprio movie, “Inception” and, oh man, was it a chore to get through. The premise was quite interesting, infiltrating others’ dreams and putting ideas into their minds. That’s the basic thing. And since that particular premise, the ‘what if’ thing (like where do wrinkles go when they fall out of your clothes) is near and dear to my heart I thought it might be interesting to see, in spite of all the computer graphics today’s movies are so rife with. I understood everything that was going on, it’s not the plot got complicated, but it was just dragged out rather tediously to the point of distraction and several people leaving the theater. I actually thought about it and as it turns out, so did Ariel, but I chose to hang around to see how it all played out. The final analysis: I was unimpressed.  Afterwards, though, to make it up to ourselves, we stopped in at 5 Guys for burgers and it was pretty much close to closing time. 5 Guys ROCKS!

Saturday came and so did the Lou Crew, at 7:30 as promised and the digging began. And so did work on the front stoop. It was falling apart and we’re having it redone, refaced to match what will be the exterior on the addition.

Speaking of the addition, yesterday was the day the cement was to be poured once the inspector came to yay or nay the footing (and the roof, finally!). Lou had gone to pay the cement people and during that time, the inspector came. I got on the phone and was assured Lou was 5 minutes away. While I spoke to (and tried to stall) the inspector, he failed the footings because of what amounted to a smudge, a misplaced line on the plans. Kind of like when I got my Atlas tattoo and the artist followed the design exactly, right down to the mark from where something had been erased. He later fixed it and unless you’re looking, you’d never see it. But the inspector was in too much of a rush, in spite of my going over what he told me a couple of times just to buy some time for Lou to get back, and he wouldn’t talk to him over the phone, and the last saving grace was that he had to inspect the roof. That entire procedure was walking the length of the house in back, then in front and it passed. In the time span from when he left and Lou got back, the two could have passed each other in the driveway.

I met the lovely Mrs. Lou who brought the guys lunch. Lou didn’t want to risk not being around a second time. The inspector returned about 2 hours after he said he would (thankfully) and he got convinced the plans were correct, that figures from previous pages could not equal what he originally thought they should  and that errant line was just an errant line. The cement truck came, the cement was poured and then later, a load of cinder block and bags of cement was delivered.

   

And lastly, my query to my agent in waiting is ready to go the second I see she has updated her status on her webpage. I had this incredible idea of how to drastically change it up, to really pack a wallop from the get go. So, tick, tock, tick, tock…….

749 (more or less) Words Of Babble

July 9, 2010

Another beautiful morning. I’m looking out across my crispy golden brown lawn (a bowl of shredded wheat has more color) and wondering what today will bring. With three days left of my summer vacation, and “All About Eve” yet to be watched, (we watched “The Women”) I’m thinking it should be something with a ‘wow’ factor, you know, just to cap it all off.

Well, let’s see: It’s Ariel’s turn at the doctor for his physical, during which time I’m expecting the Lou Crew to come and finish the re-tiling and installing the enclosure door. Actually, he’ll be grouting today. He was here yesterday afternoon for less than an hour to slap on the replacement tiles where he had to level off the wall for the glass door. He also reset the other two glass panels in new channels that were mitred. I misunderstood, I thought it was the glass itself that needed to be mitred but it was the channels it sits in so the corner where they butt would be tighter. So, today he’ll grout and install the door and by tomorrow we’ll be able to use the shower again. And then I really have to kick into high gear and find a picture of the original bathroom so I can post the before and after (and during) shots. Once the Lou Crew is gone, we’ll be going up close to Ariel’s job to install two upholstered cornices we’ve been working on to replace ones we had made a while ago to go with a new decorating scheme. But we have someplace out we’ll decide on for dinner to look forward to. Confidentially, it’s obvious I don’t need to be on The Cape do eat like I’m on vacation, except here at home, I have back up fat clothes I might not otherwise have packed.

As I crunched my way across the lawn with an armful of mail yesterday, I optimistically anticipated opening the letter from the township. I should have known better, really. This time there is the matter of a one foot span of something they don’t like so Lou needs to revise his drawing and he will be taking that over there today.

Here’s an update on that query I told you I’d be sending out once June was over. That agent lady has posted on her webpage she is closed to submissions for the time being. But that hasn’t stopped me from reworking my cover letter, this time with a ‘punch’ factor she apparently prefers, and she will also accept up to ten pages of manuscript so hopefully that will give her a better perspective of what my story is about than it gave that last one who refused to budge and let me send her more. I’ll just keep it in my draft folder and check her website daily so I can shoot that off to her the second I see she is once again accepting submissions.

My friend Jayne asked about a particular item in yesterday’s blog and Ariel posted a picture of it on his Facebook page, but I’ve got it here for you today. It’s that designer condom cocktail (appropriately enough) dress we saw at that Museum in New York earlier this week. It’s made of 1,200 dyed condoms. I was in a hurry to see the next condom exhibit, the multi-colored foil disk packages (like Hanukkah geld) woven together to make a baby blanket so I was only able to verify about 7 condoms in the dress but it surely looked like the desginer worked like a Trojan to put that dress together.

I also mentioned that I had some news from the candy world to share. During our post-fireworks stroll up and down the Asbury Park boardwalk we passed the Candyteria candy store. I was still sipping on my iced coffee and Ariel suggested I go in, that I might find some candies from the past. It’s a fairly small store, but I found some flavored malt balls like peanut butter, mint, pumpkin spice. They also had, which I poo-pooed, an M & M wall with bins of individual colors but nary a tan one. If you know me, you know that’s why I stopped eating M & M’s, because they took out the tan ones. Oh, they had an ecru colored one Ariel tried to convince me was tan, but even with tired blurred vision from dried out contact lenses, I could still see they weren’t THE tan ones. And, like a blue M & M, who could eat an ecru one, whether they can print my face on them or not. Then on one small shelf, off to the side…no! I’ll wait and tell you about that next week.

More or less, it’s actually been 797 words.

Ad Nauseum

June 22, 2010

I’m preparing yet another updated version of my agent query letter to send out. I found an agent who represents the type of book I wrote and she will be begin accepting submissions again on a certain date a few weeks from now. I read a few sample queries on her blog that she really likes to receive so I have to tailor mine to fit that model. As usual, you’ll be updated.

My trip to the dentist yesterday was a success although I was mistaken with the procedure he was going to do. What he did was replace some old silver fillings that were starting to fall apart. He did mention bonding on the back teeth the last time I was there for my cleaning two weeks ago, but maybe he meant that for another point in time.

I have a new project I’m beginning, hopefully later this afternoon. I see it’s supposed to storm later in the day than I plan on being outside so with any luck that will hold and my first day of my new pet project won’t be a wash out, literally. A few years ago we installed a fenced in stone patio down at the end of our property by the canal and we used it when we could. It was quite a trek down there when we’d ever have a party outside and even more so at the end of said party when we’d all be half in the bag and having to lug all the stuff up the hill back to the house. Last summer, Nature began to reclaim her space with a vengeance shooting weeds the size of small trees up through the stones and also the ground cover under stone and I kept up with is as best I could. Well, the battle has been lost and now it looks like an episode of The History Channel’s “Life After People”. After I saw what had become of my once pristine hideaway, I felt like that Indian in the TV commercial. I’ll take an hour or so each day to work on it during my lunch break and maybe turn it back into the patio it once was, or maybe that could be my garden area I’ve always wanted or perhaps I’ll just surrender it back to Mother.

I should have someone work with me. I could rent a friend on Rent A Friend.com execpt apparently no one in my area wants to be friends with anyone. I did a quick sample search with my zip code, which is how you get started, and there are people all over the state of New Jersey and even Staten Island.  Ah yes, RentAFriend, where the cost starts at $10/hour (or negotiate for a fair fee when applicable) for someone to accompany you in a strange city, or someone to go to the movies with or go out to eat or for whatever other platonic activity you have in common but I don’t see any options for menial labor. At any price. Well, there was one “friend” in my area, but he was geared more for party planning and this work ain’t gonna be no party.  Maybe I should try Rent A Handyman. Actually, believe it or not there is a service called Rent A Husband. That’s the one for around the house stuff. But I’m going to go with Rent A Brian and save myself the money and have that sense of satisfaction and the sore back to complain about at the end of it.

I almost forgot for the second day in a row. Our weigh ins this past weekend remained the same as last week.  I guess that’s better than it being more, right?